ASNE releases budget for Sunshine Week 2018

Holding those in power to account is at the heart of the free press in America. It also has become more challenging amid the explosion of social media, attacks on journalism and shifting social norms. This is the topic explored in this year's reporting project for Sunshine Week, March 11-17.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2005 launched the first national Sunshine Week, a celebration of access to public information that has been held every year since to coincide with the 
March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights. 

This year, ASNE (now the American Society of News Editors), The Associated Press and the Associated Press Media Editors are, once again, marking the occasion with a package that examines some of the new challenges confronting traditional journalism.
Stories will be moved on the AP wire next week and posted on the ASNE and Sunshine Week websites, embargoed for publication in print and/or online at 3:01 a.m. EST Sunday, March 11. The entire coverage will be free, and we strongly encourage you to use it.

See below for an early look at story budgets, or go to the ASNE Sunshine Week page or the Toolkit at
The reporting project is being spearheaded by ASNE's First Amendment Committee leaders Mindy Marques, executive editor of the Miami Herald, and Peter Bhatia, editor of the Detroit Free Press, and AP state government team editor Tom Verdin.
Sunshine Week 2018 is made possible by continuous support from ASNE's longtime partner Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and generous contributions from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Gridiron Club and Foundation. 
Follow Sunshine Week on Twitter and Facebook, and use the hashtag #SunshineWeek. Send any celebration plans and events, as well as editorials and cartoons, to
Sunshine Week budget
Reporters covering election campaigns have always been wary of the “October Surprise,” a bombshell revelation that hits just before the election. Today, they have a lot more to be concerned about. The rise of social media as a forum for spreading phony news, the lack of transparency surrounding online ads and posts, coordinated disinformation campaigns and Russian interference in the country's elections are creating new perils for the news media during an already unstable time. By Nicholas Riccardi/AP. About 1,000 words. Photos.
An Idaho lawmaker urges her constituents to send in submissions for her "fake news awards" during the legislative session. The Kentucky governor tweets #fakenews to dismiss questions about his unusual home purchase from a top campaign donor. A campaign aide for the Texas land commissioner uses the phrase to play down the significance of his boss receiving major donations from employees of a company that landed a multi-million-dollar contract. President Trump's campaign to discredit the news media and dismiss critical reporting has spread throughout the political landscape. Officials at all levels of government are now using the term "fake news" as a weapon against unflattering stories and information that can tarnish their images. Observers say the trend could be damaging long-term by blurring the line between fact and fiction, sowing confusion among the electorate and allowing voters to decide which facts to believe and which to ignore. By Ryan J. Foley/AP. 900 words. Photos.
The state of press freedoms in the US, based on an annual survey by the Newseum's First Amendment Center. By Lata Nott, executive director.
A video graphic explaining how a news story gets reported and edited. How do journalists decide which stories to pursue, how are they reported, how are they vetted and edited? By AP.